IUMA: Jagged Edge
Meanwhile Bass player & computer Wizz Kid Darren Langshaw was spotted playing solo sets in working mens clubs, and on the night in question had just finished performing a particularly moving rendition of the Elvis classic Old Shep, in which a faithful old hound has to be put down. Upon finishing his rendition Darren noticed an old man sitting alone near the back of the club, tears rolling down his cheeks. Realising the impact this song had so obviously had on the old man, Darren rushed over to apologise. "I'm sorry, I didn't realise you were an animal lover" "I'm not" replied the old man "I'm a music lover" Tony & Simon knew they had their Bass player.
Regular sessions ensued at the Langley Rehearsal Studios where slowly, they began to hone their skills and gel as a band.This time it was Simon on Drums/Vocals, Darren on Bass, with Tony on Electric Guitar. It soon became apparent that singing and drumming didn't go together for Simon, although to be fair the only thing holding him back was his unique lack of ability.
Tonys playing at this time could only reasonably be described as one fellow musician put it "as sloppy as a wet bucket of shite" whilst Darrens bass playing at times resembled a cross between a cows arse being slapped with a wet blanket, and a Mongoose breaking wind in the fog.
It became apparent that a great leap forward was required and to achieve this a good deal of practice, and some changes were urgently required. Out went Simons vocals, & in came singer Gail McGrath, Gail sung well but thought the band were to heavy for her own style and wanted to make a couple of changes, including changing the name to Scarlet.
Out went Gail, and things were now looking grim.
Out of the ashes of Gails departure came Simons brave decision to step out from behind the drums, sling a six string over his shoulder and take up the role of front man, a decision he's never regretted. Now they needed a drummer. Through a friend came Carl, an affable Geordie who though able to keep time, never really fitted in and eventually left to pursue a career as a wringer outer for his friend Dave, a one armed window cleaner. Next to try his hand at drums was Barrington Ellis, an ex salvation Army drummer and a man to whom rhythm meant a method of contraception.
Then came a telling event, Darren had a friend, Mike Fitzgerald who had a good deal of experience playing in bands, could sing, play guitar, and most importantly drum. Mike agreed to come along and help out where he could. From behind the drum kit where they couldn't hit him, Mike wasted no time in laying into the band and making it clear that if they didn't start getting their act together (literally) then they may as well pack up and go home. Darren in particular often bore the brunt of Mikes aserbic tongue, pushing him into actually taking some lessons on his bass. Mikes backing vocals would lift songs to a new level whilst his steady if unspectacular drumming kept things nice and tight. With Simon still just finding his feet as a singer?/guitarist, approaches were made to Mike to join the band full time. Always the answer would be no, "Simons your singer he'll be fine" although at this stage the others didn't quite share his belief. Similar attempts to recruit him as a full time drummer were also falling on deaf ears.
In Spring of 1998 Jagged Edge, still with Mike on drums/backing vocals played their first gig, Darrens uncles house party, all went well, even Mike was spotted smiling (and there is believed to be photographic evidence to support this).
Needing a permanent committed drummer Jagged Edge breathed a collective sigh of relief when friend & supporter Wendy Dixon introduced Wayne Richards to what was now a more than decent sounding band, and despite a number of minor hiccups on a personal level (to be expected when joining a long established set up with it's acknowledged set ways and in jokes), settled in behind the drum kit superbly. Combining the steadiness of earlier drummers with a technique developed through years of dedication to his art.
Not long back from a successful run of gigs in Birmingham, and following a packed out performance at Sloughs premier venue for new live bands O'Neils, Jagged Edge now proudly present their first CD featuring six original tracks.
All Alone in Nowhere
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